Thursday, November 4, 2010

The World's Most Dangerous Animal, a Lame Duck

There are many dangerous animals in the world. What would you say was the most dangerous? Some kind of carnivore? Perhaps a tiger, with its large size, its quickness, and its sharp teeth and claws? Perhaps a bear, with its great strength? Maybe you would think a poisonous snake of some type with its stealth and unexpected strike would be the most dangerous. Some people might suggest sharks are more dangerous than any other animal. Others might tell you that smaller creatures, insects that swarm like killer bees or giant Japanese hornets, are the greatest threat. All the above creatures are quite dangerous, but they're not nearly as dangerous as the animal I believe to be the most dangerous. That animal is a lame duck.

How can you make such a claim? you might ask. After all, a lame duck is but a small water fowl that walks with a limp. Tigers and bears are mighty animals that can tear a man to shreds in a matter of seconds. A bite from a poisonous snake can result in a slow and painful death for even the strongest man. A shark can cut a man in half in one swift bite. Swarming insects with their stinging instincts can cause even the bravest man to flee for their lives in terror. Certainly, even the lesser of the poisonous stinging creatures, animals like jellyfish, scorpions and spiders are more dangerous than a lame duck. Not so.

Sure, animals like tigers and bears can be killers. They may kill one human, or the may develop a taste for human blood and kill even more. A poisonous snake might attack a human if it feels threatened. A shark might mistake a swimming human for its food. Swarming insects will attack when defending their homes or territories. Even the less glorified stinging creatures can cause discomfort.

These animals can be dealt with. A tiger or bear can be hunted down. Poisonous snakes can be avoided, many will actually warn you before they bite. Sharks are denizens of the water and so only threaten the few who may unwittingly wander into their territory. Insects can be attacked and killed with chemicals. All these animals tragically destroy but a few human lives. One lame duck, however, can affect millions, and one lame duck is nearly impossible to avoid.

A lame duck, you see, has weapons far more powerful than teeth and claws. They have poisons that can spread further and quicker than any snake's. The signals they send can mobilize more of their friends than the chemical ones emitted by swarming insects. The lame duck can create legislation. Legislation creates bureaucracies. Bureaucracies suck the life blood from the private sector. Millions are harmed. Liberty is compromised. Choices are reduced. Opportunities are lost.

What makes the lame duck session of congress so dangerous is the lack of even the presumption of accountability. The bums have already been voted out. Congress critters who know they will not be returning are voting on legislation the common folk will have to live with. What's to prevent these people from perhaps becoming bitter and extending a big middle finger to the people who decided they didn't want them back in office? These men and women have nothing to lose now. They can go ahead and vote through Internet censoring legislation. They can go ahead and vote through a national ID act. They could, if they wanted to, pass legislation requiring monitoring equipment in private homes. Hell, unconstitutional laws have been passed when they had to worry about being re-elected, why shouldn't they pass the most grievous state empowering legislation now that they don't need to worry about that anymore? Maybe they'll even get a nice little bonus from their elite masters if they do.

Think about it for a moment. In what other business do fired employees get to hang around for a couple of months and make important decisions? No other business could survive long using such practices. Is it any wonder government fails, especially the federal government? How much damage can be done by these failed employees and how hard does it become to repair that damage?

For those who think we might find protection from this lame duck through the justice system, keep in mind that unconstitutional legislation has been passed and implemented in the past and it has taken forever for challenges to these laws to make it through to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, even if the law is found unconstitutional in the long run, damage has been done and those who stood to make money have already taken it and run.

Politicians have never cared what you think, but many do have to pretend to care if they want to keep their jobs. Of course, even that little fact didn't prevent them from passing massively unpopular bills like the bailouts and the health care monstrosity. Why is the lame duck session even allowed? Too many congress critters can no longer even claim to be representing the people of their districts or state anymore. I think we can all get along just fine if congress would take the next couple of months off until the new, elected congress is sworn in.

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